2019 Cadillac XT4 – Review & Road Test

2019 Cadillac XT4 –  Review & Road Test


The XT4 is the Cadillac of
compact SUVs. Nailing down its competitive set is tricky, but we’ll hash
that out shortly. First what is this thing? That’s right,
it’s a distinctly styled small SUV. This particular XT4 is the Sport trim as
indicated by its gloss black trim and sporty wheels. A more traditional luxury
aesthetic can be had with the aptly named Luxury and Premium Luxury trims.
Regardless of trim all XT4s present a bright face with standard LED head and
running lights. In back the Sport has clear LED taillight lenses, while Luxury
trims come in red before moving on. I’ll point out that this color free Cadillac
crest looks like a smushed Decepticon logo. If possible, editor, there’s be a
really good point for you to use the robot voice on me. What is life like like
a transformer? Oh, it’s not so bad. I mean there’s a lot of sitting around
interspersed, but it’s the moments of sheer terror, but you know it’s a living.
So, does this orange paint make my butt look big? You can be honest. Inside buyers can choose, okay, enough
with the robot voice. Buyers can choose from a variety of themes with wood
metallic or on the Sport model carbon fiber trim with lovely stitching, soft
surfaces, and a modern design, the XT4 feels like a premium product. Defying
that premise are hard plastics hidden down low and at least in our test car
janky-looking A-pillar trim. I’ve also noticed that at certain angles the trim
in this region reflects the sun right into my eyes. Another visual
consideration is a high beltline that makes sitting in the XT4 kind of feel
like sitting in a hot tub. There we go. Not unlike a hot tub the XT4 is a
pleasant spot to hang thanks to soft armrests, extending sun visors, and a good
driving position and back legroom is excellent for a small SUV. At least when
seated behind myself I’ve got plenty of knee clearance and my feet fit way under
the front seat so I can stretch out. Headroom meanwhile is merely adequate,
and the seat backs do not recline but they’re squishy enough I can’t stay mad
at them. Oh, that’s nice. That’s so cozy. For hiding smaller items the interior
offers seat back map pockets, deep center console storage, these handy slots and
umbrella holsters and the doors between. You definitely use if it ever rained in
California. For larger gear a spacious conveniently square 22.5-cubic feet
hides behind the second row expandable via 60/40 folding seats. On a related
cargo note using the OnStar system and an Amazon key app you could have Amazon
deliveries dropped right in the trunk of your XT4, and if that sounds like a bad
idea try leaving those deliveries on your porch all day. Hey, Tim how many
times have you had stuff stolen off your porch? Twice. Twice that wouldn’t be
package. Yeah yeah that’s true yeah, three. Well I know, I know how math
works. Another prime bit of technology is the standard 8-inch Q infotainment
system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and
near-field communication for simple Android phone pairing. You just tap this spot
with your phone and it connects. How convenient, quick reacting, and cleanly
arranged I don’t have much to complain about.
I especially like that even though they have a rotary control knob down here
they also give you the freedom to just push the buttons up here on the screen. I
like options. Moving the XT4 is a 2-liter
turbocharged 4-cylinder with an inoffensive yet defeatable engine
start/stop system and the ability to transparently deactivate two cylinders
when cruising for improved fuel economy. On that score front-wheel drive XT4s get up to 30 mpg when driven tamely. Gun it and there’s ample power to jump ahead
of traffic. At the same time with all that power going to the front tires
torque steer rears its head. It doesn’t take much effort to counteract the
steering wheels tugs but it does remind me that some car makers have managed to
exercise their torque steer demons. Remember the fun we had in the Civic
Type-R? Interestingly models equipped with the optional twin clutch all-wheel
drive system also experienced torque steer in tour mode, power is efficiently
directed solely to the front tires helping explain a meager one mpg drop on
the highway versus front drive XT4. If you demand full-time traction
enhancement just like all-wheel drive or sport mode when rolling through the
suburbs the XT4 is smooth. Enhancing the experience is relaxed and low effort
steering, a hushed cabin with active noise cancellation, and a responsive
frame shifting 9-speed automatic transmission.
By contrast the engine’s personality is abrupt and unabashedly turbocharged.
Press the throttle and a short pause is followed by a wishy turbocharged kick.
Whether mellow or intense the XT4’s acceleration feels raw for a Cadillac
especially at low speeds. It’s hard to ease into the power, but that measured
foot input looks like I’m trying to get my learner’s permit. For the record, I
have my driver’s license. I’ve also noticed a disconnect between
the steering resistance and the rate of vehicle turn, but there I go again
complaining about steering feel. Let’s change things up and complain
about the brakes. The XT4’s brake pedal is both spongy and overly
sensitive. How’s that possible? We will have cut to b-roll by now if the
editor has done their job. Dammit. The prime suspect is an electoral hydraulic
braking system that ditches old-school vacuum assist for a compact electric
motor. The result is odd pedal feel and improved efficiency. On a brighter note
the XT4 Sport can be equipped with adaptive dampers elevating ride and
handling by matching the suspension’s reactions to the demands of both the
road and the driver. Buy a sub $36,000 XT4 base trim including destination
charges and you’ll enjoy four USB ports both, A and C types, eight airbags, two
zone climate control, our front each with 2-way lumbar, rear parking sensors and
keyless access so you don’t have to mess with the fob when you’re coming or going.
Populating the option roster are heated and ventilated seats, leather, blind spot
warning, wireless phone charging, a dazzling 360 degree camera system with a
range of views a rear view camera for unimpeded yet creepy visibility, and
super adjustable seats with a massage function, though when you first start the
car up it takes the screen a little while to boot up, and you need the screen
to select the exact kind of massage that you want. Tack that to a growing list of
tedious complaints from privileged people. As you’d expect from a modern
luxury vehicle the XT4 offers active driver assist options like dynamic
cruise control, forward and reverse automatic braking, and lane departure
warning with steering assist. Load up a sport or premium luxury trim and the
MSRP can top $55,000.Heads up, the only free color is silver, any other hue will
cost you between $600 and $1200. Pit it against compact luxury SUVs like
the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, the XT4 is a bargain though it could
be argued their real competition is the bigger Cadillac XT5. Move down a class to
sub-compact SUVs and the XT4 is a larger but pricier alternative to
entrants like the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Perhaps the most
direct competitors are the value priced Lincoln MKC, the popular and similarly
priced Lexus NX, or the slightly pricier but lovely and more powerful Acura RDX.
However you compare it, the XT4 is distinct, comfortable, and practical. It’s
not perfect but it is the Cadillac of compact SUVs.

About the Author: Michael Flood

99 Comments

  1. I love it. I wish we had this here in the UK but no. All we buy is boring small hatchbacks so we wouldn't ever get anything like this 😤🙄😒

  2. I’ve been looking at a fully-loaded XT4 lately and it’s quite a looker in person. But at $56K, it’s got some weird quirks I’m having a hard time getting onboard with. For starters, the navigation screen is the smallest in the segment at 8”. The Audi Q5 isn’t much larger at 8.8”, but at least it has a 12.3” digital gauge display that’s amazing. Then there’s the power folding mirrors. They’re not automatic. On any Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Volvo, Jaguar, and even Lincoln with power folding mirrors, you can set them to fold automatically when locking a car and unfold when unlocking. Not the case with the XT4. You have to press a button when you exit the car to fold the mirrors and then lock the car. Or you have to remove the key fob from your purse or pocket and hold down the lock button for 3 seconds to fold them. It’s details like that which make me question why GM doesn’t study the luxury market better. I mean, just make the feature work like every other competitor does!

  3. i'm guessing 36k is the base on this one.. for 36k you can get most these tech package on new 2019 toyota rav4. with plenty of leg room and head room. you can compare the interior of this SUV to rav4 and you'll see rav4 has better design. Cadillac needs a new designer. #justsaying

  4. What the hell happened to KBB videos? The irony of parodying a caricature that you most definitely are is so tired. You have to watch the reviews on mute now because the production quality is good, when it's not dizzying drone footage, but the commentary takes away from legitimacy.

  5. Lovely car awesome interior and fair power good combination right there plus Micah is doing the review it can’t get better than this thanks mate

  6. When will GM make RWD based crossovers ? They cannot really compete with the Germans and others with FWD based crossovers .

  7. They've got the design of this almost spot on. I know it's personal taste but this is a great looking tall hatchback/mini CUV. It's almost a shame that the next gen Audi Q3 will blow this out of the water but you can't have everything.

  8. Lol adaptive dampers….. Those magnetorheological shocks will be your biggest curse when you have to replace them out of warranty.

  9. That clicky A pillar pretty much kills this vehicle for me. At this price point, even if it is a press car, it should have at least a 100% build quality. Engine reliability and user quality of course come later, but visual finesse can not be compromised at this price point in this segment.

  10. It looks a lot like a Honda CRV… I like it, but I'll wait 2 years and buy a low mileage used one for $10,000…. Cadillacs have awful resale value.

  11. Excellent review! This car competes the most with the BMW X2 and Volvo XC40 if you ask me as both are trying to be cool smallerish SAVs.

  12. I can get a 1 year old XT5 TODAY on craigslist for $28,000… next year it will be closer to 19K The lower end Caddy's always fail Catera, Cimeron, NorthStar..

  13. just bought one. Drives pretty well, think ride will be softer without the 20 inch wheels. wish there is another level of upgrade for sound option. the 13 Bose speakers are decent but not exceptional.

  14. Shopping for a new SUV and was considering a Ford Edge, but the Xt4 has the same starting price so out goes the Ford when I can have a Cadillac for the same amount of money.

  15. this last months have been a major Cadillac turnaround! this car, ct5, ct6, xt5, 6….  GM is doing a great job!

  16. I really love this car. I prefer it over the XT5 as well. The only thing I like about the XT5 is the high profile tires. This one has lower to match it’s short stance. Either way, I would absolutely consider a Cadillac as my next car with this design language.

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